One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Examples Not to Follow

1st Corinthians 10:6
Now these things are our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Today, many people are searching the Scriptures seeking how to live their lives. This is a good thing. However, there is a common misconception that is quite pervasive in this seeking. The common misperception is, if it is found recorded in Scripture, then it must be okay to do likewise, particularly if Israel has done it in the past. The truth is, most of the examples of what Israel as a nation has done, as well as what individuals did, which are recorded in Scripture, are not there to show us in the latter days what to do, but rather, what not to do. What things are recorded, for the most part, are the errors and mistakes and those things which did not please YHWH.

1st Corinthians 10:11
Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Sure, there are a few good examples recorded in Scripture, but for the most part, the examples recorded are not good examples; but rather, they are records of bad examples. When a person goes to Scripture seeking examples of proof on how to live his life, he must be very judicious in paying close attention to the context in order to be able to determine whether what is recorded should be followed or avoided.

If it is a good example, the text itself will almost always give a clue to this truth. If no clue is given, then most likely it is a bad example. The default setting seems to be on bad examples recorded.

Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 25:17
“And you shall not wrong one another; but you shall fear your Elohim, for I am YHWH your Elohim.”

Look closely at the historical incident being recorded, at what is happening. Are there any Torah commands or principles being violated? Is the Spirit of Torah being violated? This may be even more important than the actual commandments themselves. For one can be legalistic in his observance of Torah, yet still be in violation of the Spirit of the Torah.

1st Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful; but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful; but not all things edify.

Why are you doing what you are doing? This is the question one must ask himself and then listen to the Spirit of YHWH for the truthful answer. Just because something is recorded in Scripture as being “lawful” does not mean it pleases YHWH. Let us look at an example of something which is allowed, but is not the best path to follow.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:1
“When a man takes a wife, and marries her, then it shall be, if she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.”

The Torah allows for a man and woman who are married to get divorced. This study will not examine the particulars of divorce. However, we would like to point out that it is allowed, in fact, some rabbis actually teach that this is a mitzvah (commandment). However, let us take note of what Yeshua has to say upon this same subject.

Matithyah (Matthew) 19:8
He says unto them, “Moshe for your hardness of heart allowed you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so.”

It was only because of hardness of heart that divorce was allowed. Now that is a sad state of affairs! While allowed, divorce is not the path which is YHWH’s perfect will. His perfect will would be for both the husband and the wife to love YHWH and to live according to His ways and to then love each other and treat each other with dignity and respect. But because of hardness of heart, this does not always happen.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:27
“For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck; behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against YHWH; and how much more after my death?”

That same hardness of heart also has influenced many other things which are “allowed” according to the letter of the law (Torah), but from which, if one follows the leading of His Spirit, he will stay away. However, in order to follow such a path, one must be able to hear and obey His Voice! If one cannot hear and obey His Voice, then such a person will be resigned to simply following a list of dos and don’ts, which will lead one down the same path Israel has followed in the past, a path which leads one into sin.

1st Corinthians 10:24
Let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor's good.

Rarely did YHWH’s people seek the good of each other. Mostly, what are recorded are acts of selfishness. These acts of selfishness are recorded for our benefit, if we are listening with His Spirit. The benefit to us in these latter days is being able to see what not to do, that is, not to act out of selfishness, but to act in brotherly love towards one another.

Yochanan (John) 13:34-35
34 “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.”

However, this presupposes that one can hear the Voice of our Master and be able to obey Him in his daily walk, walking in His Spirit.

1st Corinthians 8:9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak.

As we saw in 1st Corinthians 10:23 above, all things are lawful, however, this does not mean that one should do it simply because Torah allows for it. Rather the law of love must prevail. If what a person is doing in his liberty causes another to stumble and he knows his liberty is causing another to stumble, then such a person is walking contrary to the Spirit of Mashiach. If one is walking contrary to the Spirit of Mashiach, then he is walking contrary to the Spirit of Torah!

1st Corinthians 8:13
Therefore, if meat causes my brother to stumble, I will not eat flesh ever again, that I may not cause my brother to stumble.

The manner in which one is admonished to walk according to Scripture is to walk in such a manner as to love our brother and neighbor in all manner of ways so he does not stumble. This love is so great, that if one’s liberty is causing his brother or neighbor to stumble, then the motivation of love causes him to stop so his brother or neighbor does not stumble.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 9:6
“Know therefore, that YHWH your Elohim gives you not this good land to possess it for your righteousness; for you are a stiff-necked people.”

Sadly, in these days of internet access and social-media websites where people from all over the world gather to interact with one another, what one witnesses more than anything else is stiff-neckedness rather than love for each other. Each person is determined to “prove” his point of view to those with whom he is interacting, when what he should be doing is loving his brothers and sisters in Mashiach Yeshua.

Not only are there many Scriptural examples for us not to follow, but there are ample modern day examples of what not to do as well, as so many follow the wrong ancient path. Let each one of us determine to walk the path towards Mashiach Yeshua according to His Spirit. Let each one of us be diligent in his walk to make sure that each step we take is according to His Spirit and is void of selfish ambition and pride. Let us walk together in a manner which is wholly pleasing to YHWH.

Zerubbabel Emunah